The pancreas is a compound racemose gland, analogous in its structures to the salivary glands, though softer and less compactly arranged than those organs.
Its secretion, the pancreatic juice, carried by the pancreatic duct to the duodenum, is an important digestive fluid. In addition the pancreas has an important internal secretion, probably elaborated by the cells of Langerhans, which is taken up by the blood stream and is concerned with sugar metabolism.
It is long and irregularly prismatic in shape; its right extremity, being broad, is called the head, and is connected to the main portion of the organ, or body, by a slight constriction, the neck; while its left extremity gradually tapers to form the tail. It is situated transversely across the posterior wall of the abdomen, at the back of the epigastric and left hypochondriac regions. Its length varies from 12.5 to 15 cm., and its weight from 60 to 100 gm.